Mon, Nov 29, 2004 - Page 4 News List

US analyst urges Taiwan to make defense a priority

THINK TANKS A conservative security analyst claimed China was `guaranteed to use its force,' and argued for strengthening defense

CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan must improve its national defensive strength and its people's determination to protect the country if it wants to build a new nation, a US analyst said in Taipei yesterday. He added that "the United States will support a determined democratic Taiwan."

John Tkacik, senior research fellow at the Asia Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation, made the remarks at a seminar to discuss issues related to enacting a new constitution for the nation.

The analyst said that the country is not an ally that has signed treaties with the US and that the Taiwan Relations Act is only Washington's self-commitment toward Taiwan.

concern

Saying that both enacting a new constitution and revising the contents of the existing Constitution are Taiwan's business, Tkacik noted that as a foreigner, his only concern is whether the issue will make China attack Taiwan.

A senior US-China expert, Charles Freeman, said "enacting a constitution means independence" and noted that China sees "a declaration of Taiwan independence the same as a declaration of war."

Tkacik further said that, based on an assessment of China's military ability, "China is guaranteed to use its force" and "will use its force to attack."

Pointing out that if Taiwan wants to build a new nation, the first step is to strengthen its national defenses and the determination of its younger generation to protect the country, the analyst said.

Tkacik added that only after strengthening its national defense should the nation establish the new governmental system.

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